I love clams. I love clams. Now with that admission out – let me talk to you about a guilty pleasure – Clams in Beer. Now, I don’t drink by choice – however, I would be remiss not to discuss what beer will do to a clam. With garlic, onions – oh boy!

A couple variations you might try – substitute the basil with cilantro. Or, you could substitute red pepper flakes about 1/2 teaspoon for the fresh ground black pepper. I have tried both.


Clams & Beer

Serves 8
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Allergy Shellfish
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Hot
Occasion Barbecue, Casual Party
By author Robert Irvine


  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 6 Cloves garlic (minced fine)
  • 2 Medium red onions (chopped fine)
  • 8 Dozen manila clams, (small, well-scrubbed)
  • 3 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons black ground pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1/2 bunch basil leaves (fresh)
  • 2 Cans beer (your favorite (you can substitute with chicken or mushroom broth if you must))


Step 1
In a large stock pot, on medium-low place your oil. Then add your garlic and onions and gently sauté until they reach a golden brown.
Step 2
Place the calms in the pot and season with the salt and pepper.
Step 3
Add the fresh basil and pour in the beer. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook until the clams open.
Step 4
Remove the clams to a platter or a large serving bowl. Discard the ones that do not open. Pour the broth into a serving bowl and serve with crusty bread.

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